Monday, June 25, 2007

Children's Book Monday

(I'm also over at the cafe today.)

John Muir and Stickeen - An Alaskan Adventure
by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff
Illustrated by Karl Swanson

When I asked my boys which book out of our most recent library pile I should review this week, they chose this one!

The day depicted in this book is recorded in John Muir's journal. It is a true story, and full of peril, bringing many gasps and quiet, wide-eyed looks from my little ones!

John Muir was a famous explorer, and you can read more about his own story at the end of the book. But this story is devoted to the bravery of the dog who was with him on this journey; Stickeen, named for a tribe of Indians.

Stickeen belonged to John's friend, the Reverend Samuel Young, but he accompanied John the day they explored a glacier. They left early in the morning, and shared a meager breakfast of a piece of bread, their only meal for the entire day. The day was full of storms; wind, ice, snow, rain. But they pressed on, jumping over crevasses in the glacier; John chopped steps out of the ice with his axe. They climbed down, and up, down and up again.

When Stickeen was frightened by a deep crevasse and refused to jump, we see the growing courage in this little dog, who was wearing strips of cloth as moccasins on his bloody feet.

We had not read much about John Muir, only briefly in our study of Alaska last year; he is best known for his part in establishing Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. We really enjoyed the biography at the end of the book - it created a fullness to this already exciting story.

And you will enjoy this history rich, exciting book with your children, too!

Happy Reading!

7 fellow travelers shared:

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for this review! I will be doing a state-by-state journey of books next school year and this will make a perfect addition to my Alaska reading list!

henryteachers said...

We're learning about the U.S. next year too so I'll add it to our list to read during Alaska. We watched the Vera the mouse video. It was a Hallmark film called Mr. Mole's Surprise. It was pretty cute, but I'm sure the books are more delightful. I love your idea about packing little tin pail lunches. We haven't read anything about Royal and Almanzo Wilder. Another great book suggestion. Thanks Elise!

Joyful Days said...

This sounds like a wonderful book for my boys. I like Jenny's idea of using it for a book when studying Alaska.

Sounds exciting!

Beverly said...

This sounds wonderful for the future!! Thanks, Elise :-)

Tracy said...

I love the way that you create an interest in books every week. Keep up the great work, encouraging parents to read to their children!

Amy said...

I'll add it to my list!

Amy said...

Oh, I love books like this!

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